Barking & Dagenham 6-0 Thurrock
THE LONDON GIRLS’ LEAGUE Essex derby saw Thurrock make the short trip down the A13 only to find a Barking & Dagenham side full of confidence following their draw the previous week against all-conquering Woking. A devastating fifteen-minute spell either side of half-time more than settled the tie as Kara Mason-Wisbey stole the show with a hand in four of the home side’s goals.
For the first third of the game, the score-line hung in the balance, with both teams spurning chances to take the lead.
A lively start from Thurrock saw the visitors test the ever-reliable Connie McChrystal on several occasions with a series of corners and set-pieces that threatened the Barking & Dagenham goal.
Meanwhile the hosts went closest when Mason-Wisbey’s wing wizardy on the left led to a chance for Violette Sharpe inside the box. The latter’s initial effort was bravely blocked, with Mason-Wisbey’s follow-up cannoning back off the upright.
With five minutes to go until the interval, skipper Lily-Mae Elsey saw a daisy-cutter from twenty yards almost creep in and, seconds later, Alissa Dhillon had a great opportunity to open the scoring – her left foot effort lacking the necessary power to find the net.
Dhillon more than made amends two minutes later when she delivered a cross of whip and verve into the danger area to find Mason-Wisbey alone six yards out. The William Bellamy forward allowed the ball to run across her body expertly to commit the keeper one way, before switching an intelligent finish into the opposite corner.
Two minutes later, the lead was doubled. Again, it was Mason-Wisbey who latched on to a pin-point through ball from Elsey to burst clear and finish with aplomb.
And a minute after half-time, it was three. Defending in their own penalty area, a Barking & Dagenham clearance set Mason-Wisbey off and running as she demonstrated expert skill, strength and acceleration to complete a stunning rapid-fire hat-trick.
Mason-Wisbey then turned creator as her composure on the ball tee-ed up Dhillon for another shot which was well-saved.
But the same combination of players extended the lead just two minutes later when Mason-Wisbey held off a series of challenges to squirt a ball across goal. Dhillon made no mistake this time, sweeping in for her fourth of the season to cap off a fine individual display.
From the resulting kick-off, Barking & Dagenham were hungry for more and pounced, applying pressure to a rocking Thurrock rear-guard to craft a chance for Tianna Dowuona-Hammon to prod home.
And the scoring was completed shortly afterwards when Sharpe pounced to net her tenth of the season, winning back possession with her endless harrying and hustling to cause chaos and finish with calm.
Away trips to Hillingdon and St Albans complete Barking & Dagenham’s London Girls’ League group as the holders seek to qualify for the medal competition and capture a third back-to-back title. Next up though, it’s Hackney in the quarter-final of the Dave Agass Shield. On this form, Barking & Dagenham will certainly fancy their chances.
Barking & Dagenham: C McChrystal (Grafton); A Santo (Henry Green); R Abela (Dorothy Barley); A Dhillon (Valence); L Elsey (Northbury); Y Moore (Henry Green); T Duouwana-Hammond (George Carey); V Sharpe (Gascoigne); K Mason-Wisbey (William Bellamy)